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What Zarrab's arrest means for Rouhani

While it is unclear whether Reza Zarrab’s prosecution will yield greater cooperation between Turkey, the United States and Iran, it appears that the case could strengthen Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rather than weakening Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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Reza Zarrab, the dual Iranian and Turkish citizen arrested in the United States on charges of money laundering and banking fraud to evade sanctions on Iran, is not just any businessman. When he was caught up in graft allegations in Turkey in 2013, he surfaced as an alleged associate of Babak Zanjani, the Iranian tycoon recently sentenced to death in Tehran.

Zarrab’s March 19 arrest sits at the nexus of Turkey-Iran-US relations — with potential implications for all sides. While much focus is on how his detention may be bad news for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the real story is that this is much more good news for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

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